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History

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Innovations FAQs

The demands placed on the U.S. Census Bureau to collect, process, and tabulate data on the nation's population and economy create an environment that fosters innovation. Herman Hollerith's electronic tabulator in 1890, the installation of UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer built for civilian use in 1951, and optical character recognition software that read 2010 census questionnaires are examples of the innovative technology employed by the agency to improve its data collection and processing operations.

The questions to the left are a few of those frequently asked about the history of the Census Bureau's technological achievements and innovations.

census employees
Census Bureau employees compare census data to maps following the 1930 census.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: January 28, 2019